Remember that the whole reason we all got started in this wild, wacky thing called guitar playing is called “fun”. It’s kind of like when kids are learning to play baseball, and get involved in competition right away…they’re always reminded that they must first and foremost “have fun”, and remember why they love to play baseball in the first place. It’s definitely the same with guitar, and it’s sometimes the best just to get together with your friends and simply “rock out”. I can remember one time, when I was invited to go up to my friend, John Sebastian’s house in Woodstock. He’s one of the great American songwriters, and I never cease to be in awe of him and what he did with The Lovin’ Spoonful. But when I got to his house, all he wanted to do was crank up the amps in his big living room, get someone on drums, and just “rock out” with me for like three hours straight!
That in and of itself was a learning experience, and I could see that it was almost like “therapy” for him! He just wanted to blast some rock n’ roll and then feel better….and believe me, it made me feel better, too! No doubt, my ears were ringing, but my soul was satisfied! Then, we were able to have a regular fun weekend together, and do whatever else we wanted to do, which was mostly music-oriented anyway!
I really recommend that you get together with your musician buddies, and as often as you can, simply play for the fun of it. And believe it or not, that also is truly rehearsing, as you are getting better all the time at simply playing together, and learning to jam. Jamming is critical in the learning process of a musician, as you must learn to “think on your feet” and to listen to others. This will always make you a better guitarist, and will definitely make you a better band. I can remember in my early days with my group, Steel, we would take almost all of our songs and turn them into extended jams, with long instrumental passages that were truly exploratory in every way. It was also fun to record these sessions and then to listen back to them, learning the whole time, and listening to what new ideas may have emerged as a result of all this experimentation!
So, give it a try, and most of all, take every opportunity you can to get together with your friends and “Rock out, and have fun!”